There are some amazing places to visit all across Kentucky, and winter time makes some even more exciting. The leaves have changed colors, or fallen away, and the holly is bursting with red berries. There is an abundance of winter foliage and lovely scenes just waiting to be experienced. Here are 11 spots worth exploring this winter:
11. Old Louisville
This may not sound like a place to explore during the winter, but it becomes a winter wonderland path to the past. Visitors can see amazing architecture from the 1800s and early 1900s, along with some gorgeous holiday décor. The trees at Central Park offer some naturesque solitude in the midst of the Victorian architecture and one can almost envision couples in their finery strolling along the sidewalks. The entire area is a unique place to visit and seemingly step back in time during the winter.
Today this is a sleepy little town north of Louisville via US 60. However, in its hay day, Cloverport was a happening place to be. It was an Ohio River port town during the 1800s, and in 1850, was home to a coal oil plant that shipped all the way to England. In 1816, the family of Abraham Lincoln, including Abe himself, crossed the Ohio on a simple log raft from Cloverport to Indiana.
9. Hawesville along the Ohio
The great steamboat disaster of 1854 occurred along the banks of the Ohio River in Hawesville. The memory is captured in the sign, reminding visitors and residents of a time when motor boats weren’t available. Though it is the site of a horrible accident, the scenery itself is beautiful, and the gentle splash of the Ohio, quite relaxing.
8. Guist Creek Lake
This 325 acre park has over 27 miles of shoreline and more Blue Herons then anywhere in Kentucky. This is a great place to fish, boat and enjoy nature. The view from the lake offers an abundance of surrounding woodlands and wildlife. The area itself will compel a feeling of inner peace due to the quiet, serene surroundings.
7. Land Between the Lakes State Park
Taking a ride out to LBL is always nice, and the center at 238 Golden Pond Visitors Center Drive offers some unique winter activities. Visitors can not only enjoy the beauty of nature, but also experience special activities, such as the Eagle Tour. This allows us to see nesting spots of our beautiful national bird of prey. It is a unique experience that one can get from now till around February via this location. You can call,1-800-525-7077 to get specific event dates and times.
6. Black Mountain
It is hard to miss this Harlan County mountain when headed towards Virginia. It is the highest peak in Kentucky, reaching 4145‘ above sea level. Black Mountain is a great place to go hiking and really get in touch with our own physical boundaries while being surrounded by beauty and nature. If you have never been to this mountain paradise, you will want to pencil it in at some point.
5. Shaker Village
This unique community at 3501 Lexington Road in Harrodsburg gives visitors a wonderful holiday feeling, and some insight into what life was like for our ancestors. The village offers a rustic, yet friendly environment with a variety of simplistic means of entertainment. One of the most interesting things is the comfort the Shakers have without all the hustle and bustle of city life. This is a great get away to enjoy and remember simpler times.
4. Wildcat Mountain Civil War Battlefield
This is located about 7 miles North of London off US Hwy 25. It is accessible via a one lane gravel road, which was part of the Daniel Boone Wilderness Road. This was considered an important part of the Civil War, as the Union Troops could camp without being easily accessible to the Confederacy. A battle took place here in October of 1861. The hilltop provided a vantage point and the area itself is beautiful with an excellent view of the surrounding wilderness.
3. Banks of the Ohio River
There is an abundance of history all along the Ohio from Stephensport to Hawesville and more. Regardless of direction, you will find some amazing historical sites and commemoration signs. Signs depict the significance of the areas, and the amount of surviving 1800s and early 1900s architecture is surprising, given the floods. Many of the old buildings still stand almost as solid as the days they were built. Touring the Ohio River is a great way to step back in time and experience the atmosphere our ancestors did along the “then thriving” river ports. Steam boat and ferry rides are also not uncommon in most port towns to this day, though they offer modern conveniences as well.
2. Natural Bridge State Park
Take a hike up to the Natural Bridge via 2135 Natural Bridge Road in Slade. The sweet smelling pines and comforting woodland sounds of the winter will make you feel like you are in another world. It is a perfect place to go and escape traffic and city sounds, just absorbing the wonders of the surrounding nature.
1. Red River Gorge
It doesn’t matter where you go in the Gorge, you will find a peaceful environment and naturesque serenity. The park is so huge, it is not difficult to find a perfect spot that calls to you as an individual. The cool temps keep the insects down and allow for beautiful hiking and camping trips where you can just enjoy nature without worrying about mosquitoes.
Each one of these Kentucky spots offers an exciting adventure during the winter months, and most year round. If you like camping, hiking, tradition, history, folk art, or just the serenity of nature, you will find it in one of these locations. There are plenty more places to soak up some of the seasonal energy in our state. What is your favorite place to visit during the colder Kentucky months?